Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder #3) by Linda Castillo

Book Description:

Published: June 21, 2011

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Police Chief Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of a horrific tragedy on a peaceful Amish farm.
The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, prosperous and hardworking, with four children and a happy extended family. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers that one of the victims suffered a head wound before death—clearly, foul play was involved. But who would want to make orphans of the Slabaughs’ children? And is this murder somehow related to a recent string of shocking hate crimes against the Amish?

Having grown up Amish, Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. Because the other series of attacks are designated hate crimes, the state sends in agent John Tomasetti, with whom Kate has a long and complex relationship. Together, they search for the link between the crimes—and uncover a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community.

Review –

This story had so many twists and turns I almost got whiplash! Every time I thought I had things solved, another wrench would be thrown into the mix. As with the first two books, the crimes are gritty and require multi-jurisdictional support. Connecting the clues was a wonderful challenge.

Kate and John Tomasetti make progress in their relationship but it’s not easy. I really like how they’re portrayed, faults and all, adding a strong, realistic element to their story.

I’m hopelessly hooked on this series, especially the audio performance by Kathleen McInerney who continues to make a really good story exceptional. I’ve already got the next book in the queue. Can’t wait.

Gas or Ass (The ‘Cuda Confessions #1) by Eden Connor

Book Description:

Published: April 17, 2015

Not every relationship is about love.

The odometer on my sex life was stuck at zero the day my mother dragged home a husband I’d never met. Dale brought his two grown sons to help pack and move us into their house. Both were hard-bodied and handsome, but Caine didn’t speak to me. Colt, on the other hand, said crude stuff like, “Wanna ride with me? Then I’m gonna need gas or ass,” but I couldn’t take my eyes off his rippling muscles and challenging blue eyes.

Some are about speed, sex, and defiance.

When Colt offered me a ride to school, I thought the ‘gas or ass’ thing was a joke, but he wasn’t kidding. Though he barely touched me, he shattered the innocence I couldn’t wait to shed. Even then, I sensed I’d never be the same. He and Caine soon upped the stakes, putting me behind the wheel of cars that could reach insane speeds. They kept challenging me to find my inner wild child, pairing illegal drag races with high-octane sex games, games like ‘winner gets head’.

And some are about trying to break you.

It wasn’t long before I was hooked, but I always planned to walk away. Then everything spun out of control and walking wasn’t an option.
I had to run.

Review –

This was offered to me as a free digital book and I almost passed it by because of the title. It just sounded vulgar.

vul·gar
ˈvəlɡər/
adjective
lacking sophistication or good taste; unrefined.
“the vulgar trappings of wealth”
synonyms: tasteless, crass, tawdry, ostentatious, flamboyant, overdone, showy, gaudy, garish, brassy, kitsch, kitschy, tinselly, loud; More
antonyms: tasteful, restrained, genteel, decorous

making explicit and offensive reference to sex or bodily functions; coarse and rude.
“a vulgar joke”
synonyms: rude, indecent, indelicate, offensive, distasteful, coarse, crude, ribald, risqué, naughty, suggestive, racy, earthy, off-color, bawdy, obscene, profane, lewd, salacious, smutty, dirty, filthy, pornographic, X-rated

And then I thought , “who  am I kidding -I read vulgar books all the time”, so I downloaded it and almost completed it in one sitting.

 It really is one of the nastiest books that I have read in a very long time.

Shelby’s mom marries Dale out of the blue without telling her and they are moved into his house with his two sons, Colt and Caine. These boys are half brothers, same father, different mothers and the mothers did;t want them. Dale and his two sons are BIG into NASCAR and quarter-mile drag racing soon Shelby is right along with them. The loser of the race has to give up sexual favors  and she later finds out that Colt, whom she has a huge crush on, has been pimping her out behind her back.She feels like a whore and knows that if her Mom found out she wouldn’t believe that her step-brothers would do that. The thing is Shelby enjoys all the sex and feels conflicted about it so she  can’t wait to leave for college. One of the brothers hides her acceptance letter to a university and things take a drastic turn and Shelby hitchhikes out-of-town and goes to the university hoping to plead with the Dean to let her stay. She is accepted and doesn’t go home for almost four years.

It’s a great story and in the next book, which I’m reading now, you find out something about the brothers and all the lies they have told to Shelby.

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Phantom (Harry Hole #9) by Jo Nesbo

Book Description:

Published: October 2, 2012

Following from Jo Nesbø’s electrifying international best-sellers The Snowman and The Leopard, now comes Phantom, which plunges the brilliant, deeply troubled, now former police officer Harry Hole into a full-tilt investigation on which his own tenuous future will come to depend.

When Harry left Oslo again for Hong Kong—fleeing the traumas of life as a cop—he thought he was there for good. But then the unthinkable happened. The son of the woman he loved, lost, and still loves is arrested for murder: Oleg, the boy Harry helped raise but couldn’t help deserting when he fled. Harry has come back to prove that Oleg is not a killer. Barred from rejoining the police force, he sets out on a solitary, increasingly dangerous investigation that takes him deep into the world of the most virulent drug to ever hit the streets of Oslo (and the careers of some of the city’s highest officials), and into the maze of his own past, where he will find the wrenching truth that finally matters to Oleg, and to himself.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

Loved this book, just wish I had read the  series in order.  Here are the highlights:

  • Harry Hole has returned to his life of self-imposed exile in Hong Kong, but is brought back to Norway as the book begins as he is told that Oleg, the son of his on-off girlfriend, Rakel Fauke, has been arrested for the murder of his flatmate, Gusto. Since Harry has become a father figure to Oleg, he comes to Norway to determine the truth about the murder.
  • An airline pilot is arrested for transporting heroin into Norway, but – thanks to a burner within the Oslo Police Force, he is released and – although suspended from his job – is tasked by the heroin smuggling gang to work for them.
  • Harry meets an elderly priest at the hotel where he stays who, throughout the novel, gives Harry seemingly random information that ultimately aids him in solving the murder of Gusto. He also discovers that the drug-scene in Oslo no longer revolves around heroin, but around a morphine-based drug called Violin, which gives a bigger drug “high” and is much more addictive, but lacks some of the fatal consequences involved with the injection of heroin.
  • Harry manages to sneak into Oleg’s cell, pretending to be his lawyer, a man called Hans Christian, who is dating Oleg’s mother. After hearing Oleg’s side of the story he is convinced that the police have the wrong suspect and that Oleg has been arrested to keep the people who run the Violin trade going from being arrested. This theory is confirmed when Oleg is attacked in his cell moments after Harry has left.
  • Throughout the novel, the back-story, told from the point of view of a dying Gusto, explains how Oleg, Gusto and Gusto’s foster-sister, Irene, got involved in the Violin trade and how Irene has been kidnapped by the man who developed Violin to use as a sex slave. There are also passages written from the point of view of a mother rat, who is barred from reaching her hungry children by humans fighting and shooting each other and a falling body blocking her way; the significance of the rat’s experience in the main story told from the human point of view only becomes evident in the end.
  • Harry manages to find where Irene is being kept and free her, and then heads to a house where he has found out that the mysterious man behind the smuggling and dealing ring (a man no-one confirms having met) lives. He kills two bodyguards, but is trapped in the cellar of the house, which fills with water. However using an empty whisky bottle as an air pocket, Harry is able to escape drowning – the alcoholism which had often complicated Harry’s life in this case helping to save them.
  • An object in the drug lord’s house gives Harry a hint about the drug lord’s identity, and he realizes that he unknowingly met him already. He confronts the man in a life-and-death struggle which also involved a paradoxical grudging respect and mutual attraction. The encounter also enables Harry to discover who had killed Gusto, and how he was related to the drug lord. Harry then confronts Gusto’s killer. But before he can be taken in, he fires his gun at Harry apparently fatally.
  • Careful reading of the final part of the novel shows that the mother rat who appears elsewhere in the novel could sense ‘the barely perceptible vibrations’ of Harry’s heart. There are major loose ends – though the drug lord is dead, a corrupt and criminal officer is about to take command of the Oslo Police with the connivance of a corrupt city official – so Harry may survive to deal with them.

I will not tell you who killed the drug addict  at the beginning of the book but let’s just say it broke my heart and because I have already read/listened to the next book (and maybe the last book) in the series, I know that Harry is NOT dead   Hallelujah!!!!!!!

Five stars *****

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Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray

Book Description:

Published: November 3, 2015

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

Review –

Since I had read the first book in the Firebird series, A Thousand Pieces of You, over a year ago I wasn’t sure that I would be able to jump into this book with the same enthusiasm. I shouldn’t have worried because from  the first few chapters I became just as engrossed as I had been previously.

It has parallel universes, drama,teen angst,romance, unrequited love,danger, suspense and ethical questions that need to be answered.

If you could jump into the body of another “you” would you be careful with the choices you make or would you haphazardly live life as if there was no tomorrow to leave the other “you” to live with the consciences of your actions when you leap back to your own body and universe?

That is one question that Marguerite is still trying to come to grips with.

Can’t wait for the next installment!

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The Scars That Define Us (The Devil’s Dust #2) by M.N. Forgy

Book Description:

Published: October 31, 2014

The Devil’s Dust MC has a list of new threats to the club’s lifestyle. Dani, to prove her loyalty, is trying to embrace a part of herself that she never knew existed until now. A sinful beast lurking beneath her surface has been awakened and is ready to eliminate anyone that stands in its way. Looking at her stained hands, she rinses the blood from them. She resigns herself to innocence lost and welcomes her thirst for more blood.

After a breathtaking turn of events, Shadow is looking at life in a different perspective. Not knowing who he can trust or who he can forgive has left him feeling desolate and alone. As Shadow is laying behind his rifle, he wonders if he can pull the trigger to eliminate the threat. He takes a deep breath and squeezes the trigger, the rifle recoil ignites the fuel that drives him.

Retaliations will be required.

Boundaries will be shattered.

Redemption will be lost.

Betrayal so deep, yet they still yearn for one another. Can Shadow overlook Dani’s transgressions? Can Dani overlook the mistrust that Shadow has placed upon her?

***WARNING***
This novel contains explicit language, sex, drugs, violence, and sexual situations that some might find offensive. This book is intended for adults 18+ years of age.

Review –

 This ijstallmemt of Thr Devil’s Dust series dives right in where we ended in What Doesn’t Destroy Us and  at this point Dani tries to return to the clubhouse to prove her innocence and what ensues is chaos. The story switches between Shadow and Dani’s POV, which I liked. The story immerses you in the Devil’s Dust motor cycle club and the feelings of the members,especially Locks, about Dani.

Dani and Shadow have their work cut out for them as their relationship is in turmoil while dealing with traitors in their midst.  No one is who you expect. While Shadow is nursing his hurt feelings and not trusting Dani, she finds a job as a part-time ballet instructor and even dates and well to do man. When Shadow finds out about this he goes ballistic and kills the man and disposes of the body. He does like wise with Dani’s mother, who is a member of the FBI, when he finds out that she wants Dani to go back to New York with her. 

Dani bonds with some of the girls of the club in a beat down of a man who beat up Bab’s niece and later they are hunted down one by one and badly beaten and Bab’s is a victim of a revenge hit and run and dies. Bull finds out who is responsible and makes a deal saving Dani’s life and letting the other motor cycle club run drugs or guns on their side of town. Shadow kills the man who beat up Dani and drove the car that killed Bab’s. Someone aims a Shadow and Bobby jumps in front of him and dies (or so we think)

Shadow and Dani make up with lot of hot steamy sex and she gets pregnant.

Two years later she’s expecting her second baby, a girl, who they will name Deliah,after Bab’s. Zane is now almost two and the spitting image of his father. Shadow proposes to Dani. End.

The next book will feature Bobby and Jessica (Doc).

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The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #3) by Louise Penny

Book Description:

Published: March 1, 2008

Many mystery buffs have credited Louise Penny with the revival of the type of traditional murder mystery made famous by Agatha Christie. . . . The book’s title is a metaphor not only for the month of April but also for Gamache’s personal and professional challenges — making this the series standout so far.’
–Sarah Weinman


Welcome to Three Pines, where the cruellest month is about to deliver on its threat.
It’s spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. . .
When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a seance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil — until one of their party dies of fright. Was this a natural death, or was the victim somehow helped along?
Brilliant, compassionate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the SQ (Sûreté du Québec) is called to investigate, in a case that will force him to face his own ghosts as well as those of a seemingly idyllic town where relationships are far more dangerous than they seem.

Review –

Five stars *****

I am truly loving this series. It reminds me of the old Agatha Christie mysteries except these have a man in the role of the solver of crimes. 

I also like how, again ,the murderer turns out to be someone least expected-and you find out that all is never as it seems.

In this installment, Gamache’s so-called friend leaks under rumors and pictures to the newspapers and television in the hopes that it will make him resign and be the subject of such shame that he will have to leave town. BUT, this does not happen and he is found out is resigns and moves out of the area. I was thrilled that he finally got caught,

I’m currently listening to the next in the series and will report on it very soon.

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Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Book Description:

Published: February 10, 2015

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood–those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard–a growing Red rebellion–even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Review –
Five stars *****
Once I started listening to this book I had a VERY hard time thinking about other things I should be doing like housework,laundry,running errands etc. Instead I listened and listened some more. It is that good!
I’ve read some reviews that says this story is a re-hash of others like Red Rising, Graceling, and the Selection and I say WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT? Although it may lean that way a bit it has its own shining stars in the characters of Mare, Princes Cal(heir to the throne) and his younger brother, Maven.
Mare is seventeen and rather a tomboy who is a very successful pickpocket just waiting to be conscripted to the Army because she doesn’t have a real job. She chances upon Cal one night, who is dressed in dirty clothes and looks like another other RED, so she doesn’t know his true identity. He gets her a job in the Palace and through no fault of her own falls from a balcony and her fear of falling to her death activates her electrifying ability and the King decides to use her to his courts advantage. He makes up a back story  for her of being a long-lost SILVER princess and she becomes engaged to Maven.
She is put in a course study to learn all the things a princess should know and how to control her ability. Maven becomes her close friend and conspirator in trying to make a change in the way the court see SILVERS and REDS. She wants equality for everyone.
While her eyes roam to Cal, she knows he is gung-ho SILVER and is working toward keeping the status quo.
Mare, Maven, Farley and others plan to peacefully overthrow the King but things don’t go as planned and innocent people are killed and she discovers that Maven has been lying about his allegiance all along.
Mare and Cal are sentenced to death in the Bowl of Bones and through they win with the help of her abilities and are rescued by Farley and the underground train all is not well. Cal is their prisoner and feels betrayed by Mare. While on the train Mare discovers that the brother she thought had been executed is alive and he is like her, RED with SILVER abilities that ate stronger than regular SILVERS. 
Together they vow to find the others who are like them and bring down the SILVER court for the good of the REDS,
When Mare discovered that Maven had betrayed her and Cal learned that she had betrayed him I cried (of course I did) because it was a heart wrenching scene especially between Cal and Mare because they now had feelings for each other and had shared a kiss.
I can’t wait for the sequel!!!!!!!
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The Liar by Nora Roberts

Book Description:

Published: April 14, 2015

Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions …

The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.

Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning …

Review –

I was very disappointed in this new release by Nora Roberts. Normally I have nothing but praise for her work but this left me flat. From the very beginning it was so cliché and predictable.

Girl from small town is swept off her feet by rich handsome man from big city and end up married. They live in a big mansion and she has cars, jewels, clothes, anything she could want. They have a baby and he could care less and becomes distance.  He travels  alot on his job and one day goes out for a boat ride in a storm and is “drown”. After his death she discovers nothing they had was real. Everything was on credit and she owes over two million dollars in debt. She sells everything and moves back home to the small town she grew up in, still a million dollars in debt. She meets and handsome contractor who falls for her and her daughter immediately. She finds out her “dead” husband had many identities and they were never really married and on top of that he stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry and stamps and now some bad guys think she knows where it is. Of course, the husband is not dead and you know the rest of the story …

Sorry Ms. Roberts, I gave it three stars ***

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First Debt (Indebted #2) By Pepper Winters

Book Description:

Published: November 12, 2014

You say I’ll never own you. If I win—you willingly give me that right. You sign not only the debt agreement, but another—one that makes me your master until your last breath is taken. You do that, and I’ll give you this.”

Nila Weaver’s family is indebted. Stolen, taken, and bound not by monsters but by an agreement written over six hundred years ago, she has no way out.

She belongs to Jethro as much as she denies it.

Jethro Hawk’s patience is running out. His inheritance gift tests, challenges, and surprises him—and not in good ways. He hasn’t leashed her but he thinks he might’ve found a way to bind her forever.

Debts are mounting. Payment waiting.

Review –

At the end of the first book Jethro allowed Nila to make a run for freedom, knowing full well that he could easily find her. He said he’d give her a forty-five minute head start but only gave her twenty and rounded up the dogs and set out to bring her back.

Nila heard the dogs and knew they would find her so she climbed high in a tree. Jethro knew she was there but pretended not to notice until some time had passed. Finally, he made himself know and Nila came down. Heated tempers and words lead to a sexual encounter and afterwards they returned to Hawks Hall.

Jethro try to distance himself from Nila because he feels his defenses weakening every time he’s near her. While he’s away, Nila gets closer to his brother, Kestrel, whom Nila thinks is the one who goes by Kite007 when texting her.

Eventually Jethro gives in  to Nila and uses her name instead of Ms. Weaver, when they have sex. She also concedes and begs him to have sex with her. He knows that by having pleasurable sex with her he is breaking all the rules of the Hawks concerning a Weaver Whore, and they could both end up dying.

Afterwards, he again stays away from Nila and temptation and that leaves Nila alone with her phone. She ends it with Kite007 and runs into Kestrel and finds out that Jethro’s nickname is KITE. 

Five stars *****

Now, onto the next book.  Fantastic series.

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Re/Bound (Doms of the FBI #1) by Michele Zurlo

Book Description:

Published: April 3, 2012

Picking herself up after the devastating loss of her master is more difficult than Darcy anticipated. Just when she needs someone the most, a handsome Dom steps in and helps her out. Theo is thoughtful, dominant, and demanding — everything she needs. He pushes her boundaries, tests her limits, and takes her to new heights. With him, she remembers what it is to feel joy and love and a firm hand on her ass.

Agent Malcolm Legato is after a corrupt businessman, and Darcy is his ticket into the upper echelon of Snyder Corp. As “Theo,” he makes contact with her and cultivates her as an asset. Since she’s also a suspect in her master’s disappearance, he can’t reveal himself to her, even when he realizes she’s another of Snyder’s victims. He falls hard for this feisty submissive, and he knows he’ll break her heart the moment she finds out he’s been lying to her all along.

When it all falls apart, will Darcy be able to find the strength to forgive Malcolm so they can build a life together and the courage to bring justice to the man she loved and lost?

With twists of rope and plot, this action-packed story will make you laugh, cry, and squirm in all the right ways. With Re/Bound, Michele Zurlo delivers a smart, bold, and sexy tale.

 

Review –

Discovered this fantastic series by accident and intend to read them all. 

 Both Darcy and Theo get to push boundaries with some very hot results. The suspense element is real and present, but does not overpower the relationship development, which is a complaint I have of many romantic suspense plots. The balance is perfect here, and the story flows easily, with smart and witty dialog.  Could not put it down!

Of course, Darcy is hurt beyond words when she discovers she’s been part of a FBI undercover scheme to find out you killed Scott and investigate into the shady dealings of Victor Snyder. But she eventually understands and realizes that it doesn’t matter if it’s Theo or Malcolm that he goes by-it only matters that he loves her.

I highly recommend it for lovers of BDSM erotic romance. Michelle Zurlo is completely new author for me and I can say that I will definitely be reading more of her work.

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